Are Your Performance Reviews Ahead Of The Curve Or Just A Box-Ticking Affair?

Sonya Clark

How many times have you sat through your performance review and felt like it was a box-ticking exercise? This approach to performance management may have worked 20 or even five years ago, but workplaces have changed.

Globally, only 13% of employees are engaged in their jobs. In fact, actively disengaged workers worldwide continue to outnumber engaged workers at a rate of nearly 2 to 1.

In Germany alone, Gallup estimates that disengagement costs €112 billion to €138 billion per year. Companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. The need to dramatically change the way we manage employee engagement and performance couldn’t be more urgent. Truth is, what we’ve known as performance management is not working.

Companies of all sizes are shifting away from annual appraisals to more regular check-ins and frequent real-time feedback. According to Deloitte, “70% of executives are finding that the redesign of performance management is now a high priority.”

Now that we are well into 2018, companies will follow the example of global giants such as SAP and Nestle, which have stripped complexity, such as annual appraisals, ratings, calibration meetings, and competency assessments, focusing instead on regular, quality performance conversations and feedback known as Continuous Performance Management (CPM).

SAP’s head of HR for Australia and New Zealand, Debbie Rigger, believes that CPM comes down to systems, process, and people. Questions she recently explored with Queensland HR leaders include: How do you set the bar at the right level? How do you monitor and assess performance? And how do you do all of this is a simple and transparent way?

CPM: A new approach

At SAP, we needed an updated approach to performance. In order to be agile and keep up with our customers, we needed to head in a different direction, so by early 2017 we rolled out CPM, which resulted in huge gains:

  • 88% of employees are having continuous dialogue
  • 79% are living the new continuous dialogue culture
  • There’s been an 80% increase in engagement in development planning

Let’s face it, everyone wants to know how they are doing at work. By way of comparison, if you play sports, feedback is instant when you are on the field – as a result, development and improvement are much faster. Your coach is there to give you direction, offer support, and help you through the challenges. Ultimately a good coach will also be there to celebrate the wins, and help you to be the best you can be – every step of the way… Not just once a year. Why should the workplace be any different?

Technology provides an auditable trail that facilitates a more rounded conversation about the highs and lows of the past 12 months. It also takes away the reliance (and risk!) of memorizing events – which can be skewed in hindsight. Ultimately, technology creates a level playing field for everybody. It bridges the gap between departments, distance, and generations.

To get more HR-related insights, including SAP SuccessFactors customer stories, please visit our HR Insights Digital Hub.


Sonya Clark

About Sonya Clark

Sonya Clark is a HR Specialist with SAP SuccessFactors. For close to 15 years, she has partnered with HR and Business leaders to align their people strategies to their business strategies, delivering people initiatives that increase employee engagement and productivity. Using a combination of both best practise, and leading edge technologies offering her clients a design approach to intelligent HR management to ensure a return on investment. Based in Brisbane, she is regularly hosting HR thought leadership events, whilst partnering with HR experts to deliver strategic solution advice.